Rail and ferry travel are cost effective options for long distance travel within Australia and New Zealand. Here is the definitive collection of links to get started planning your trip.
Travel agents will be able to help you with your rail and ferry bookings, but there are also options to book Australian and New Zealand rail travel independently.
Maximising Your Australian and New Zealand Train and Ferry Travel Experience
Man in Seat 61 – Australia Man in Seat 61 – New Zealand provides detailed information on how to book your train and ferry travel worldwide. Has excellent information on how to book the cheapest tickets, and the different online options to consider. The website is consolidated in the The Man in Seat 61: Beyond Europe book, which is an alternate method to trawl through a lot of information.
RailServe – Australia and New Zealand provides comprehensive links which provide detailed information about rail travel in Australia and New Zealand.
RailMaps – Australia – Long DistanceRailMaps – NZ North Island RailMaps – NZ South Island provide excellent information about the routes followed by each long distance train line in Australia and New Zealand. This link focuses on long distance train routes, with maps which include the train schedules and timing at a glance. Metropolitan train route information is also provided.
Rail Australia is an alliance between the major Australian train operators. This website provides a useful map to show the different train routes, and also provides the direct links to each train website. This website also provides comprehensive information about rail pass options within Australia for international visitors, including pricing, but you cannot purchase the passes or tickets from this website.
Australian Long Distance Rail and Ferry Bookings
Great Southern Rail provides information and tickets for The Ghan, The Overland, The Indian Pacific and The Southern Spirit, which are all considered to be the classic great long distance train journeys. Great Southern Rail – Discount Backpacker Fares provides information about rail passes which are applicable to these routes.
Queensland Rail – Long Distance Trains provides information about The Sunlander, the Tilt Train, the Spirit of the Outback, The Inlander, and The Westlander, which are the long distance train options in Queensland. Queensland Rail – Rail Passes provides information about applicable rail passes.
TransWA – Network Map provides information about the Prospector, the Australind, the AvonLink which service Western Australia. Fares can be booked through this website.
CountryLink – Network Map provides information about the rail network which services New South Wales, including a link to Melbourne. CountryLink – Rail Passes provides information about the applicable rail passes.
V-Line – Network Maps provides information about the rail network which services Victoria.
The Spirit of Tasmania provides car and passenger ferry services between Melbourne, Victoria and Devonport, Tasmania. The ferry is part of the Australian national highway scheme, and as a result car transportation costs are subsidised by the Australian Government.
International Rail – Australia This website is a UK based option to purchase Australian rail passes and point to point tickets, and also sells tickets to international customers.
New Zealand Rail and Ferry Bookings
Scenic Rail Pass – NZ This webpage provides information and options to book a Scenic Rail Pass in New Zealand. Bookings can be made from any country.
International Rail – NZ Scenic Rail Passes This webpage is a UK based option to purchase New Zealand rail passes and point to point tickets.
RailPlus – New Zealand If you are a resident of Australia or New Zealand then this website is an option to purchase point to point tickets for New Zealand.
The Interislander provides car and passenger ferry services between Wellington, North Island and Picton, South Island.